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Bahrain Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen pulls lap out of the bag for stunning Bahrain GP pole

The Dutchman will start from the front for the F1 season opener.

Verstappen Bahrain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen secured the first pole position of the new F1 season in qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman set a benchmark time of a 1:29.179 to finish 0.228 secs faster than Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, with Mercedes driver George Russell third.

The first qualifying session of the season was given plenty of intrigue after three vastly different practice results across Thursday and the start of Friday, despite the belief that Red Bull would have everything its way.

Q1 proved the intrigue to be true as the entire field was separated by just one second.

But when it came to crunch time, Verstappen ended up a quarter of a second faster than anyone else, setting a blistering time with the help of a start-of-lap tow from Oscar Piastri's McLaren.

Carlos Sainz was fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

McLaren duo Lando Norris and Piastri were seventh and eighth, whilst Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton could manage only ninth.

Nico Hulkenberg far outperformed Haas' expectations to reach Q3 at the first time of asking.

Result Qualification - Bahrain

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

Tsunoda's agonising elimination as RB disappoint

Yuki Tsunoda agonisingly missed out on a top-10 starting position as both RBs disappointed compared to expectations.

The Faenza-based outfit has created closer ties with Red Bull and that seemed to have paid off when Daniel Ricciardo topped FP1 on Thursday.

But the Australian wound up only 14th whilst teammate Tsunoda impressed - finishing just 0.007s down on Piastri's best time which scraped him through to the shootout.

Lance Stroll mustered just 12th for Aston Martin, ahead of Williams' Alex Albon, Ricciardo and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who saw his first effort of Q2 deleted for a track limits infringement at turn six.

Alpine nightmares come true in sorry Q1

Alpine's worst fears coming into the season came true as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly secured the back row of the grid in the A524s.

The French manufacturer struggled throughout testing and followed up in Q1, with the duo last to cross the line. Despite track position, Ocon could only finish 0.147s down on Magnussen's benchmark time to avoid elimination whilst Gasly was a further two-tenths adrift.

They were joined in elimination by both Stake F1s, with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu finishing 0.110s and 0.111s outside the bubble respectively, with Williams' Logan Sargeant splitting the two teams in 18th, just 0.003s down on the Chinese driver ahead.

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